Marc Cohn isn’t particularly prolific,
but when he lays hands on a piano or guitar, something extraordinary
happens. Witness the ubiquitous platinum success of “Walking in Memphis”
from Cohn’s eponymous 1991 debut, which earned him a Best New Artist
Grammy. Neither 1993’s The Rainy Season nor 1998’s Burning the Daze matched his debut’s immediacy, and it was nearly eight years before Cohn wrote new original music.
The hit Disney show Hannah Montana not only launched Miley Cyrus' career, but it was also
tangentially responsible for Metro Station, an energetic Pop/Rock outfit
that hit enviable heights in spite of significant internal tensions.
During Hannah Montana’s first season, Trace Cyrus and Mason
Musso, brothers of the show’s co-stars, met on set and formed Metro
Station based on their mutual musical interests.
If you’re a Donkeys fan, you know the San
Diego quartet from its decade-plus history, three exemplary albums on
Dead Oceans and 2014 debut with new label Easy Sound Recording Co., Ride the Black Wave.
You know they haven’t had a lineup change since forming in 2004 and
that they’ve been nominated twice (winning once) for Best Rock Band at
the San Diego Music Awards.
There is an odd circularity in the work
of Kevin Barnes. Back in 2005, of Montreal’s amazingly prolific and
profoundly talented frontman was pursuing an Electronic/AfroBeat
direction on The Sunlandic Twins and celebrating the arrival of
his daughter Alabee. Ten years and five albums later, Alabee is a
10-year-old tween and Barnes and his wife Nina are navigating the stormy
seas of separation and divorce.
Tribute albums are typically divided into three categories. They’re either a) bankable artists covering high profile subjects (or, infrequently, famously known cult figures); b) cool/respected artists covering cool/respected artists; or c) some weird hybrid of the first two. Two recently released tributes fall squarely in the second category, with Avett Brothers frontman Seth Avett and ris...
When I was getting into music as a
teenager, I took a genealogical approach to discovery. If I liked a
particular band, then presumably I’d like the bands its members had
played with previously or would play with subsequently. If you applied that same connective logic
to Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, you would a) experience a healthy
degree of corollary success, and b) collect a backbreaking amount of
material in a hurry.
Japanese music culture has always been
adept at absorbing Western musical forms and translating them into
familiar but distinctly new concepts. Shonen Knife may have begun as a
de facto Ramones tribute, but the band has grown into a unique sonic
entity that embraces all genres and reconfigures them into its own
singular sound. Given that, what can we make of Peelander-Z?
Barrence Whitfield is the rare vocalist
that comes around as infrequently as a December hurricane, with the same
power and surprise. But Whitfield will tell you himself that a frontman
is nothing without the right backing, and the best foil for the
frenetic vocalist has always been guitarist Peter Greenberg.